Do you ever go to bed thinking about how you can hardly wait to get up the next day and have leftovers? That was running through my mind after making these vegan banh mi sandwiches from the Field Roast cookbook.
You likely already know the Field Roast brand from the vegan sausages, burgers, deli slices, frankfurters, and Chao cheeses in their line-up. Their burgers are a regular part of my summer cookouts, and their hazelnut cranberry roast en croute has held a center spot at many a Thanksgiving.
Field Roast Cookbook
Now you can make your own sausages & roasts at home with the help of their cookbook. Or if you’re looking for a simpler route, many recipes also include the shortcut option of using Field Roast products instead, which is the route I chose to go for today’s vegan banh mi recipe.
Field Roast: 101 Artisan Vegan Meat Recipes to Cook, Share, and Savor by Tommy McDonald is the kind of cookbook that makes you hungry just flipping through the pages. With 101 recipes and lots of tantalizing photographs, I could basically start at one end, work my way through the other, and be a very happy vegan.
Wheat is a building block of seitan. (Most recipes these days use vital wheat gluten to make it.) So this would probably not be the best book for you if you’re sensitive to gluten. (Although, there are some gluten-free vegetable side dishes, salads, and soups.)
For a gluten aficionado like myself, though, this is not a problem. Seitan gives a wonderful toothsome chewiness that makes a meal that much more satisfying.
Here are some of the recipes that called to me…
- Dan dan noodles are one of my favorite things to order at Krunkwich in Des Moines. So I was excited to see a tantalizing recipe for dan dan noodles in this book.
- When I go to the Korean grocery store in town, I regularly pick up a package of Korean rice cakes in the frozen section. They’re not to be confused with the 1980’s diet food. These are basically noodle discs, and they bring a fun texture to dishes. So I’m eager to try the pickled mustard greens with crispy noodle cake.
- The vegan paella is loaded with good stuff like king trumpet mushrooms, vegan Mexican chipotle sausage, white wine, and of course, a pinch of saffron for that signature flavor.
Vegan banh mi sandwich with seitan
Pungent, flavor-packed sandwiches always speak to me. (That’s why vegan reubens hold such a soft spot in my heart.) These vegan banh mi sandwiches have a similar balance of salt, fat, acid, and heat going on.
The meaty portion of this smoky banh mi sandwich is the celebration roast from Field Roast. (The book also includes a recipe for lemongrass and ginger roast that can be used instead, if you’d prefer to go the homemade route.)
It’s tossed with a dressing of sesame oil, tamari, brown sugar, rice vinegar, roasted chili paste, tomato paste, and garlic, which really amps up the flavor.
(Note: I could only find Thai Kitchen brand roasted chili paste, and it’s not vegan. It includes anchovies and shrimp. So instead, I used gochujang, which is a fermented Korean chili paste. It worked beautifully!)
Vegan banh mi toppings
Sorry, handsome vegan sandwich model not included.
This vegan sandwich is then topped with a vinegary mix of shredded Daikon radish & carrots, strips of cucumber and jalapeño pepper.
(I forgot to buy cucumber, and so I used pickle planks instead. I have zero regrets about that. It added a wonderful, tangy & garlicky crunch.)
For the bread, author Tommy McDonald recommends using a French bread that is soft & pillowy on the inside, crusty and flaky on the outside. He said that most artisan baguettes are too firm. That made sense, as no one wants to scratch up the roof of her/his mouth with an overly rigid piece of bread.
My local co-op makes baguettes in house, and I chose an Italian style one that has a bit more give on the exterior. I cut it into sandwich-sized portions, and then slathered it with vegan mayo.
The thing that I love about banh mi sandwiches is that it’s not just about the meaty element. The fresh salad aspect plays every bit of important a role in keeping the whole thing balanced, making it a lot lighter in feel while lacking nothing in flavor.
If you love a good sandwich as much as I do, put this one on your menu for this week. And if you have anyone in your life who shies away from “vegan food,” this is the dish to make them.
Vegan banh mi with seitan
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons roasted chili paste
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 medium-size carrot peeled and shredded
- 1 2-inch long piece daikon radish peeled and shredded
- 1 tablespoon safflower oil
- 1/2 pound Field Roast Celebration Roast sliced into 1/2-inch-thick steaks
- 1 loaf vegan crusty French bread cut into 4 sandwich-size pieces and sliced down one side
- 1/3 cup vegan mayo
- 1 small cucumber peeled and cut into strips about the size of a French fry
- 1 jalapeño pepper membrane and seeds removed, cut into strips
- 8 sprigs cilantro trimmed at the base
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the sesame oil, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, and the chili paste, tomato paste, and garlic. Bring to a low boil, then lower the heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside.
- In a medium-size bowl, combine the carrot, daikon, and remaining 2 tablespoons of vinegar, toss thoroughly, and set aside.
- Brush the steaks with the oil. In a skillet or grill over medium-high heat, grill each steak for 3 minutes per side. Remove the steaks from the heat and cut each into strips. Toss the strips in the sauce, and return to the grill or skillet for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Lightly toast each piece of bread. Spread the mayo on the inside of each piece of bread, then layer on the roast, cucumber, carrot mixture, jalapeño, and cilantro.
Here are some other ways to use Field Roast favorites:
Their maple breakfast sausage pairs nicely with creamy polenta & browned Brussels sprouts for a savory start to the day.
And they make the best vegan hot dogs around. I’m particularly fond of their frankfurters on top of a vegan chili dog pizza.